The European Union no longer considers the United States a “safe harbor” for data because the National Security Agency surveillance exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden “enables interference, by United States public authorities, with the fundamental rights of persons.”
The EU’s highest court, the Court of Justice, declared on Tuesday that an international commercial data-sharing agreement allowing U.S. companies free-flowing access to large amounts of European citizens’ data was no longer valid.
Germany knows controlling the flow of information is key, therefore it is now capturing the cyber realm. This, plus taking steps towards an EU Army, forcing further integration of EU member states and turning them into vassal states (i.e. Cyprus) are all key actions/characteristics of a nation striving to be a world superpower. Germany is now directly competing against the United States. The Fourth Reich has (almost) landed.
The idea of personal data privacy is deeply ingrained in German culture. Germans even have a word for it: Datensparsamkeit, the principle of only collecting the bare minimum of data necessary.
In June 2014, the German Bundestag, or national parliament, canceled its internet-service contract with US telecom Verizon, opting to entrust its data to German company Deutsche Telekom, instead. The alleged tapping of Angela Merkel’s personal cell phone in Dec. 2013, has led the German chancellor to compare the NSA to the East German secret police, and German citizens remain outraged at the NSA’s actions in their country—just yesterday, Apr. 23, national news magazine Der Spiegel revealed (link in German) that the agency had monitored Western European businesses for more than a year. Continue reading
The head of the National Security Agency, Admiral Michael S. Rogers, said the intelligence group no longer is interested in backdoor solutions to digital surveillance.
Instead, the NSA wants a “front-door” solution – which some privacy experts think could be even worse.
Rogers suggested a solution in which at least two parties – one of which is the NSA – retain parts of a data encryption key. The solution would require all of the parties to provide their key in order for the NSA to access encrypted communications, as well as prevent the agency from acting unilaterally. Continue reading
(TheAntiMedia) Yesterday, the House passed H.R. 4681. The bill, which was also passed by the Senate on Tuesday, authorizes spying on all Americans without due process.
It grants the executive branch virtually unlimited access to the communications of every American.
The commentary below was published by U.S. Representative Justin Amash (yes, a member of Congress himself) on his official Facebook page late Wednesday night:
When I learned that the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2015 was being rushed to the floor for a vote—with little debate and only a voice vote expected (i.e., simply declared “passed” with almost nobody in the room)—I asked my legislative staff to quickly review the bill for unusual language. What they discovered is one of the most egregious sections of law I’ve encountered during my time as a representative: It grants the executive branch virtually unlimited access to the communications of every American. Continue reading
While protesters clash with police on the streets of Hong Kong, an unseen battle is being fought on the Internet. A conflict between hackers and the Chinese government is running quietly alongside what takes place on the streets.
In unusually sophisticated attacks that analysts believe are coming from the Chinese regime, hackers are infiltrating the phones, tablets, and computers of pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong. The breaches allow them not only to know what the protesters are planning ahead of time, but will enable them to monitor the activists even after the protests end.
The shadowy world of hackers isn’t just on the side of the Chinese regime. Hackers in security are hard at work shining a light on the Chinese regime’s cyberattacks. Hacker activists, meanwhile, are also hard at work launching attacks on Chinese government websites and calling for support of the democracy activists on social media. Continue reading
Your new post-America superpower:
Süddeutsche Zeitung, NDR and WDR have turned up secret documents belonging to the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany’s counterpart to the NSA. It seems the BND is jealous of the digital espionage capabilities of the NSA and the U.K.’s GCHQ, and wants to up its game.
The documents warn that, if the BND doesn’t get the €300 million ($409 million) it needs to run expanded surveillance activities until 2020, Germany will fall behind even Italy and Spain in the spook stakes. They also suggest the spies hope to get their funding in the coming weeks. Continue reading
For more on SCADAs, please see the following previous posts:
The NSA’s TAO hacking unit is considered to be the intelligence agency’s top secret weapon. It maintains its own covert network, infiltrates computers around the world and even intercepts shipping deliveries to plant back doors in electronics ordered by those it is targeting.
In January 2010, numerous homeowners in San Antonio, Texas, stood baffled in front of their closed garage doors. They wanted to drive to work or head off to do their grocery shopping, but their garage door openers had gone dead, leaving them stranded. No matter how many times they pressed the buttons, the doors didn’t budge. The problem primarily affected residents in the western part of the city, around Military Drive and the interstate highway known as Loop 410. Continue reading
Under orders from Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, a federal police helicopter conducted a flyover of the US Consulate in Frankfurt, the government in Berlin has confirmed. Officials were apparently searching for surveillance equipment.
The German government on Monday confirmed that a previously reported operation targeting potential American eavesdropping facilities located on German soil took place at the end of August. Both a spokesperson for Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Interior Ministry admitted on Monday that a Federal Police helicopter had conducted a low-altitude flyover of the United States Consulate in Frankfurt in order to take high-resolution photographs. The apparent aim of the mission was to identify suspected listening posts on the roof of the consulate. Continue reading
As mentioned in a previous post, the real scandal is that the foreign governments who are screaming the loudest, have been doing it as well.
AFP – French secret services intercept all communications in France, stocking telephone and computer data for years, daily newspaper Le Monde reported Thursday amid an international uproar over spying by the United States.
Government officials have not responded to AFP requests for comment on the Le Monde report, which said data from communications was being stored on a supercomputer at the headquarters of the DGSE intelligence service.
The DGSE “systematically collects electromagnetic signals emitted by computers in France, as well as the data feed between France and abroad: the entirety of our communications are being spied upon,” said the report. Continue reading
What everyday people don’t understand is that countries spy on other countries on a routine basis, even allies. Matter of fact, in the real geopolitical world there is no such thing as an ally, only ‘interests’ — especially to the United States. England has regularly spied on the US, and vice-versa. Much like the NSA/CIA/FBI, Interpol (European CIA equivalent) has even been given nearly full authority (with immunity) to act as they please on American soil, by this very same US administration.
In addition, the NSA spying had to have been known long ago and approved by these same foreign governments complaining and making a scandal out of it. In summary, this is only being turned into a ‘scandal’ to make sure the politicians don’t lose popularity among their respective voters. This is not to whitewash what’s going on, but to point out that the real scandal is that the politicians in such countries as France and Germany allowed it to happen, have been caught red-handed and are only putting on a show for public consumption.
While the Chancellery appears to be outraged by the NSA’s spying tactics in Germany, the opposition doubts the revelations came as a surprise to Angela Merkel. Just how much could she have known?
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will have to be pretty clear with US President Barack Obama the next time she has him on the line. At least that’s a reasonable assumption, based on the anger she has expressed about American spying operations in the European Union and Germany. Continue reading
Spying has been in the news of late. It’s the 50th anniversary of the James Bond franchise hitting the silver screen, a Canadian naval officer pleaded guilty last week to selling military secrets to Russia, and the U.S. House of Representatives’ intelligence committee warns Chinese state-owned companies shouldn’t be allowed to own firms in highly sensitive sectors of our economies, for fear of corporate espionage.
The committee warned last week that Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp., two Chinese-based telecommunications giants, should be expelled from the U.S. market to minimize the risk of spying. Continue reading